Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids

Fathers have a greater impact on the health of their children than most of us realize. Research from sociology and other fields has shown that men’s attitudes and behavior have both direct and indirect effects on their kids’ health. Factors influencing their children’s health included the men’s reproductive health, risky employment, masculine ideals of body image, and care-giving roles. Given the potential for men to influence children’s health for better or for worse, efforts are needed to educate and encourage fathers to engage in healthier behaviors.

Additional Resources

Academic References

Caldwell, C.H., Wright, J.C., Zimmerman, M.A., Walsemann, K.M., Williams, D., & Isichei, P.A.C. (2004). Enhancing adolescent health behaviors through strengthening non-resident father-son relationships: A model for intervention with African American families. Health Education Research: Theory and Practice, 19, 644-656.

Daniels, C. R. (2006). Exposing Men: The Science and Politics of Male Reproduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kimbro, R. T. (2008). Together forever? Romantic relationship characteristics and prenatal health behaviors. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70, 745-757.

Martin, L. T., McNamara, M. J., Milot, A. S., Halle, T., & Hair, E. C. (2007). The effects of father involvement during pregnancy on receipt of prenatal care and maternal smoking. Maternal Child Health Journal, 11, 595-602.

Menning, C. L. (2006). Nonresident fathers’ involvement and adolescents’ smoking. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 47, 32-46.

Sharma, M. Petosa, R. (1997). Impact of expectant fathers in breast-feeding decisions. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 11, 1311-1313.

Wickrama, K. A. S., Conger, R. D., Wallace, L. E., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (1999). The intergenerational transmission of health-risk behaviors: Adolescent lifestyles and gender moderating effects. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 40, 258-272.

Web Resources